Mark Drakeford blames Cardiff riots on ‘13 years of Tory erosion’ in Wales | UK | News
The UK Government was responsible for creating the conditions that led to the riots in Cardiff on Monday following the death of two teenage boys, the Welsh first minister has claimed. Mark Drakeford argued the “erosion” of community life, public services and citizens’ incomes created the circumstances that led to the brutal riots that saw multiple police officers injured and cars torched.
Kyrees Sullivan, 16, and Harvey Evans, 15, died after a collision while riding an electric bike.
CCTV footage shared online showed they were followed by a police van within minutes of the fatal crash.
Mr Drakeford represents the Ely area where the riots broke out.
He told the Guardian that the standards of living there had declined over the last 13 years of Conservative government, and compared Monday’s events to those of the Bread Riots in 1991.
Claiming there were similarities between the events, he said: “It’s 13 years of the erosion, the systematic erosion, of the things that sustain community life.
“You fray social fabric at your peril, and we see what happened on Monday.”
He conceded however that the Labour-led Welsh government, as well as Cardiff council, had questions to answer over their support for the area.
Initially South Wales police and crime commissioner Alun Michael claimed the riot had been started by false rumours of a police chase.
READ MORE: Full timeline of Cardiff crash laid bare by police who were half-a-mile away [REVEAL]
But after footage emerged of a police van following the boys, police said this would form “part of their investigation”.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Bacon presented a timeline of events, which she said was based on a combination of eyewitness reports, CCTV and tracking data.
She said the van that had been following the boys was “half a mile away” from the location where they crashed at the time of the collision.
But a family friend told the Daily Mail that the crash occurred on that road because the boys had escaped into it while being chased.
They said: “The reason why the police wasn’t on the scene is because the boys have gone through a blocked street and the police knew they couldn’t go that way so they have turned on to Grand Avenue, which led the boys to cut through on to Stanway Road on to Snowden Road.
“The police have already stated they were on Grand Avenue and they were not on the scene. They weren’t on the scene because they lost them.”